OUR OPINION: Music strikes spiritual chord during holidays

Music historically has been an integral part with worship.

From church hymns to gospel music to classical works — including the “Hallelujah” chorus from Handel’s “Messiah” — music has been composed and lyrics penned to praise God.

It is fitting, therefore, that a number of our community’s premiere musical events take place around Christmas, when Christians celebrate the birth of their savior.

Cantorum again this year will present its seasonal gift — a mixture of sacred and secular music — when it performs its 43rd holiday program at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Miller Performing Arts Center.

Under the theme, “We Remember December,” the nostalgic retrospective of holiday celebrations through the years is derived from the lyric: “I remember December in every song, in the magic of the moment I sing along.”

On Tuesday, the sounds of Christmas will resound in the Capitol’s Rotunda during the 73rd installment of Capitol Caroling.

As always, the event will feature music groups from Jefferson City High School’s Fine Arts Department. Begun in the 1930s, Capitol Caroling is a holiday tradition that also includes both sacred and secular selections.

Area churches also are a venue for Christmas music.

The Missourians, a Dickens-style caroling group, will perform public concerts at: 7 p.m. Saturday at United Church of Christ, California; 4 p.m. Sunday at St. Andrews Catholic Church, Tipton; and at 7 p.m., Dec. 19, at Immaculate Conception Church, Jefferson City.

The a cappella group of 25 singers is in its 24th year of performing and raising money to provide scholarships for members of the University of Missouri Singers.

In addition, the vocal and handbell choirs at many churches will be featured at services or special events during the holiday season.

Music not only is a source of diverse entertainment, it also is a fundamental aspect of worship.

Russian composer Igor Stravinsky expressed the harmony of song and spirit when he said: “The church knew what the psalmist knew: Music praises God.”

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